China Readings for January 14th

  • Malicious Software Attacks Security Cards Used by Pentagon – NYTimes.com – Chinese hackers have deployed a new cyber weapon that is aimed at the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and potentially a number of other United States government agencies and businesses, security researchers say.

    Researchers at AlienVault, a Campbell, Calif., security company, said on Thursday that they had uncovered a new variant of some malicious software called Sykipot that targets smart cards used by government employees to access restricted servers and networks. Traces of Sykipot malware have been found in cyberattacks dating back to 2006, but AlienVault’s researchers say this is the first time Sykipot has compromised smart cards.

  • 苹果暂停iPhone销售 黄牛拒付农民工全额佣金_通讯与电讯_科技时代_新浪网 – beijing iphone 4s scalping bosses screwing migrant workers who waited in line out of their full wages(CH)
  • 北京8大措施应对PM2.5 五六环之间增20万亩林地_新闻_腾讯网
  • In response to “Go East, Young Man” ~ Lost Laowai China Blog – This is a response to Jonathan Levine’s article on working in China, “Go East, Young Man“, published on January 8. After writing this response, I found that someone had written an insightful blog post at the singularly named dontmovetochina.com (written about a month before Jonathan Levine’s). I highly recommend reading said post for more details about what I describe below.
  • Taiwan’s stocks in pre-election boost | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – The main reason for the turnaround was the government’s activation of Taiwan’s National Stabilisation Fund to intervene in the stock market, said Jeremy Chen, analyst at Morgan Stanley. While the government has not disclosed how much and which stocks it has bought, Chen said in a note that share-buying by the state-owned Bank of Taiwan Securities showed buying mostly in tech names like TSMC, UMC and Hon Hai.

    Chen warns, however, that government support of the stock market may ease after the election as “the government may want to save ammunition in the event of unforeseen global events later this year.”

  • Chinese Workers Threaten Mass Suicide – The Daily Beast – With bragging rights at a premium, Chinese wealthy enough to buy the new phone will probably sooner lose sleep waiting in line than lament the hardships faced by their poorer comrades who manufacture the iPhone 4S. “Its one of those ‘I’m-richer-than-you’ kind of toys,” said Bill Bishop, a Beijing-based technology analyst. “And that’s important to a lot of people here.”
  • China Forex Reserves Drop for 1st Qtr Since ’98 – Bloomberg
  • China: A domestic wine industry starts to take root – latimes.com – A visit to some of China's wineries and vineyards shows a budding industry still working out the kinks.
  • China Case Reveals Risks of Investing in a Foreign Company – NYTimes.com – The management of the ChinaCast Education Corporation appears to have a novel response to board elections: ignore them.

    A remarkable series of events unfolded over the last few days involving this Chinese company, a secondary education provider. When I wrote about ChinaCast in December, the company had accused Ned Sherwood, one of its directors and owner of 7 percent of ChinaCast’s shares, of insider trading and other misdeeds. ChinaCast was trying to push Mr. Sherwood off the board by refusing to nominate him for election at the company’s annual meeting.

  • US Embassy Warns of Terror Threat in Bangkok – NYTimes.com
  • Asia Unbound » A Chinese View on Why Cyber Deterrence Is So Hard
  • Serial killers in China | Danwei
  • Chinese Dissident Hu Jia Questioned by Police over Internet Comments « VOA Breaking News
  • 南方周末 – “洋公司”围猎中国历史街区 – 1月3日,元旦假期尚未结束,清华大学建筑学院副院长尹稚的微博里的激烈发言已悉数删除。尹稚表示,一天前的“大义举报”不过是“在信息高速公路上酒驾”。

    此前一天,他以罕见措辞,动员全国建筑规划界把“波士顿国际设计集团”(下称“波士顿设计”)轰出中国。他的“酒驾”,让在中国历史街区改建设计界炙手可热的“波士顿设计”,为舆论所关注。

    在过去6年时间里,这家自称总部位于美国波士顿的“洋公司”不断介入北京、宁波、重庆等多个城市的历史城区改造。而他们的改造方案,则无一例外地被文保界人士痛批。“他们是在大规模毁灭老建筑,把历史城区做成逐金之地”,民间文保人士华新民告诉南方周末记者。

  • India to ban Nokia Messaging Services – The Next Web – This is just the beginning. In the coming days, once there is a legal framework in place, a lot of companies offering similar services might lose their sleep. There is a constant buzz that Gmail and Skype might be the next two in the list. Both the services are incredibly popular in India, particularly among the very vocal tech savvy crowd. If you follow the Indian communications space closely, the next few months are going to be interesting.
  • Near Riot At Beijing Apple Store As Iphone 4S Goes on Sale | DigiCha – apple needs armed police to manage the chinese workers who make their products & armed police to manage the chinese customers who buy them
  • police around beijing sanlitun store-instagram
  • US Sanctions Three Companies For Iran Energy Deals – Corruption Currents – WSJ – The U.S. sanctioned three companies Thursday for doing business with Iran’s energy sector, including China’s state-run Zhuhai Zhenrong Co., Iran’s largest supplier of refined petroleum products.
  • As SOPA/PIPA Becomes Toxic, Frantic Congress Test Runs Dropping DNS Blocking Provisions | Techdirt – while taking out DNS blocking fixes one problem with these bills, it still leaves in place a ton of other problems. Of course, supporters of the bill will falsely claim that taking out DNS/site blocking "fixes all the complaints!" That ignores that this is exactly what they said about the last "manager's amendment" version as well. They figure if they just keep claiming that they responded to all the complaints, maybe people will believe them. But that's ridiculous. The bills still have the super broad immunity provisions that will encourage all sorts of content/site takedowns to avoid liability. On top of that, many of the definitions in both bills remain ridiculously vague and would likely lead to overblocking in other ways — that is, things like "information location tools" having to block links to sites deemed rogue under the legislation would remain. Also, the anti-circumvention measures remain in the bill (and are not limited to just foreign sites), which is going to continue to create a huge headache for the State Department, which is funding the creation of many such circumvention tools for foreign regimes… even though offering them in the US would be a violation under the bill! On top of that, both bills still include the private right to action, which will lead to numerous unnecessary lawsuits.
  • Commentary: The Future of Sino-American Relations | The National Interest – China is fielding second-generation nuclear forces that can overwhelm U.S. missile defenses and strike the United States. Of greater concern, China is developing capabilities to attack satellites and computer networks on which U.S. prosperity and security depend. For all its power, the United States is increasingly vulnerable to strategic attack.

    Yet China likewise faces the paradox of power, whereby greater strength brings greater vulnerability. The main reason is that—in the three strategic domains of nuclear, space and cyberspace—technology favors strategic offensive capabilities over strategic defensive capabilities. As each power becomes more reliant on data flowing though space and cyberspace, there follows an increasing potential harm from attacks on satellites and networks, including Chinese satellites and networks. If the Chinese think that being more powerful makes them less vulnerable, they are wrong.

  • EU’s Space-Conduct Code Rejected by U.S. as ‘Too Restrictive’ – Bloomberg – why should us sign when china is not, and when even china did sign it would not abide?
  • ‘Traitor’ accusations stir up confusion – A poll for the 10 most notorious hanjian (”traitors to China”) in modern times was launched at the beginning of this year by Utopia, a well-known left-wing forum. 
  • BREAKING: Beijing’s Flagship Apple Store Not Selling iPhone 4S After Fight Breaks Out Between Scalpers » M.I.C. Gadget – Lines outside the Apple store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district show no signs of shortening, causing frustration for the thousands of fans and scalpers desperate to get their hands on the iPhone 4S. Now some of that disappointment is turning to anger, with reports of fights breaking out between gangs of scalpers, and guess what, Beijing SWAT teams arrived. So, the Apple store employees later announced that the launch of iPhone 4S is cancelled at the Apple’s flagship store in Beijing, and all scalpers are pissed.

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